Thursday, November 24, 2011

Kicking Off the Christmas Markets in Münster

One of my absolute favorite things about living in Germany is the wonderful Christmas markets every November/December.  Knowing that the Christmas Markets are coming makes the cold weather and short days almost tolerable. And by the way, the days here are crazy short.  Way shorter than in Michigan or Florida or anywhere else we've lived. (Borken is 51 degrees latitude whereas Grand Rapids, Michigan is only 42 degrees latitude - we're almost 10 whole degrees further north on the globe which means 6 hours of day light in the winter and 18 hours of daylight in the summer).

Anyways, I've been desperate for a day where I can do some shopping just be out of the house by myself without dragging Dylan around with me.  Because sometimes I just really need some time where I can dawdle and peruse shops at my own leisure without having to bribe Dylan to sit still and be quiet with brötchen or Gummie Bears.  Bryan came to the rescue and on Monday night suggested that he stay home with Dylan on Tuesday so I can go to the Münster Christmas Market ganz allein.  I was so excited for my day away that I got to the bus station at least 20 minutes early because I just couldn't handle sitting around our house any longer.

I got into Münster around 11:30, just after the Christmas Markets opened up for the day, so I got a really good slow tour of all the booths without having to jostle my way through any crowds.  The booths featured toys, jewelry, Christmas decorations and lots and lots of food.  The one thing the Christmas Market was missing, however, was music.  It seemed really strange to have all these Christmasy booths selling Christmasy things but there was no Christmas music being played ... anywhere. And since I was there first thing in the morning, there weren't too many people around so it was kind of quiet.  But I did still prefer the silence to the usual constant questioning from Dylan of "Whatareyoudoing, Mommy? Whatareyoudoing, Mommy?" and "What's that? What's that? What's that?"

After I got my fill of the Christmas Market I managed to spend some time going into stores that I usually don't get to go into because they either have breakable things in them or they have women's clothes in them, or both.  The funny things about the stores in Münster is that they have names that either sound like clown name (Nanu Nana, Bibo) or they are a complete mouthful to say (Peek & Cloppenburg, Applerath-Cüpper) but are nonetheless fun to shop at.

By 3:30 I was wiped out and made my way back to the bus stop to being the hour long journey back to Borken.  I must say that after taking the bus to Münster there and back, I have a lot more compassion and empathy for Bryan's daily commute.  The ride alone is pretty tiring, and I spent the day shopping and lolligagging around town.  I can't image doing it every day for work.

Here are some photos from my big day out:

Love, Love, LOVE the Christmas Markets!

The market huts get so pretty at night (or when the sun sets at 2pm) with all the lights and festive decorations.

Most scenic street to shop on.

The entrance to one of the larger markets in Münster

A view from above.  Yes, I did get strange looks when I barged into a restaurant, took pictures out the window then left, narrowly missing a big collision with a waiter carrying a full armload of food.

Yummy falafel sandwich

I thought these polkadot rain boots were cute, but they were 189 Euros.  Ummm, no thanks. This was one of those stores where everything was adorable in that thrift store / homemade kind of way, but nothing cost less than 100 Euros.  

My favorite little Münster street artist is probably crazy rich.  His Münster-themed paintings are really cool, but one of his little 10x10 centimeter paintings is 89 Euros.  He's always doing business, so I'm pretty sure he lives in a penthouse on the Prinzipalmarkt.

The "Occupy" movement has come to Münster.  The sign says the demonstration is for "Democracy, No Criminalization, Against Exploitation, Suppression and Fighting."  There were about 10 really cold looking people with tents near the sign.

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